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THE JCCNV Adult Learning Institute (ALI)

Registration is open!

Please take a moment to review the links below and sign up for one (or more!) of these fabulous opportunities to continue your lifelong learning with us!

Contact: Carla Rosenfeld, 703.537.3060; Marcia Gordon, 703.537.3066


ALI is the J’s adult lifelong learning center. Its mission is to provide intellectually stimulating, enjoyable, and engaging opportunities to expand your mind and your knowledge with other adults of all backgrounds and ages.

Lunch: Please feel free to bring a dairy or parve/meatless lunch to any class.


ALI - Temple Rodef Shalom Partnership

As part of our exciting partnership with Temple Rodef Shalom (TRS), we are offering two courses at TRS. They will be “In the Beginning: Bereishit Stories in Contemporary and Traditional Art” and “Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the God of the Prophets.”

Also, we are thrilled that, as part of this wonderful partnership, Cantor Allen Leider, Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Rodef Shalom, will be teaching two courses at the J: “Disagreeing Jewishly” and “The How and Why of Personalizing Prayer.”

All of these courses will be outstanding. Everyone is welcome to attend courses at both venues! Please note the location when registering.


Ways to Register

  • Register online here 
  • Submit completed registration form and payment to the JCCNV front desk
  • Mail completed registration form with payment, payable to “JCCNV,” to
    8900 Little RiverTurnpike,
    Fairfax, VA 22031
  • Call the J’s front desk at 703.323.0880 and be prepared to give a credit card number


ALI Fall 2017 Schedule

We are pleased to announce our Fall 2017 line-up of classes! The semester begins on Wednesday, September 6.


Fiction Writer’s Workshop
Tuesdays, October 10–November 28 (7 weeks)
(no class Nov. 7)
Instructor: Professor Lisa Leibow, JD, MA
Participants will explore the writing process and elements of fiction such as character, setting, point of view, and dialogue. This is a hands-on writing lab, where students will complete writing exercises that emphasize various fiction techniques. Students will also workshop a story or chapter, and will write and workshop several shorter pieces written to prompts. We will discuss aspects of crafting fiction writing. Ideally, students will leave this course with ideas on how to improve the particular stories, novel chapters, or scenes examined during the session, as well as how to improve their fiction writing in general.

Lisa Leibow earned a Masters in writing with a concentration in fiction from Johns Hopkins University. She has taught writing at Northern Virginia Community College, University of Maryland University College, and at Johns Hopkins University.
Fee:       $200/ $175 J member
Code:    #8607

Wise Aging
Fridays, November 17, December 1, 15, 29
(6 sessions, every other week)
Location: The J
Presenters: Rabbi Ann Folb and Harriette Kinberg
A new, groundbreaking program specifically designed to meet the social,
emotional, and spiritual needs of Jewish seekers entering their second adulthood!
You will be guided through reflective work that enables you to come to new
understandings about your life, self, and values. Learning modes include text study,
active listening, mindfulness meditation, exercises, reflection, and journaling. Sessions are primarily based on resources developed by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and the book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit. Participants will be expected to purchase the book on their own. You will learn, share
experiences, and acquire skills for making changes in your lives that will lead to a
deeper sense of well-being. Group limited to 12 participants.
Fee: $100/ $75 member
Code: #8600

The Prime Ministers Who Shaped Israel: David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin
Tuesdays, October 24–November 14 (4 weeks)
Location: The J
Instructor: Ralph Nurnberger, Ph.D., Nationally recognized foreign policy consultant; retired Georgetown University International Relations professor
In many ways, the story of the four giants of Israeli politics — David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin — is the story of Israel’s birth, trials, tribulations, and triumphs. Each faced major challenges in the years before Israeli independence was declared in May 1948. As prime ministers, they had significant, yet completely different roles in the formation and development of the state. And they were not always in agreement. This four-part series will explore these leaders’ stories and their historical impact.
Fee: $48/ $36 J member
Code: #8486

Discover Your Inner Artist: Introduction to Zentangle

Friday, November 10
Location: The J
Instructor: Marisela Rumberg
The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It is an empowering and uplifting experience. Absolutely no artistic skill is required to create Zentangle® Art. You can do it and you
will love it! In this 4-hour workshop, our Certified Zentangle® Teacher (CZT) will guide you through this creative process that develops confidence and accomplishment, self-esteem, stress reduction and well-being.
Marisela Rumberg, fiber artist, award-winning quilter, and Certified Zentangle teacher (CZT), will guide you through this creative process.
Fee: $100/ $85 member (plus $10 materials fee)
Code: #8617

Judaism... Just (Some of) the Facts
Tuesdays, November 14–December 5 (4 weeks)
Location: The J
Instructor: Debra Beland Ackerman
Wondering why shrimp aren't kosher or why Jewish holidays start after the
sun sets? Then this is the class for you! Students will learn some of the basics about Torah, holidays, keeping kosher, and about the different denominations that make up the Jewish community. And we'll do our best to provide the "hows and whys" for lots of your Jewish questions.
Debra Beland Ackerman is the Director of Education and Youth Activities at Congregation Olam Tikvah. She has spent the last two decades as a Jewish educator, working in synagogues, summer camps, and the JCC movement.
Fee: $60/ $45 member
Code: #8602

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the God of the Prophets
Mondays, November 27–December 18 (4 weeks)
(snow make-up Jan. 22)
Location: Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland
Street, Falls Church
Instructor: John Rybicki, Biblical scholar and historian
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was one of the most distinctive, prophetic, and influential Jewish religious scholars in the U. S. Descended from two lines of important Hasidic families, Heschel constructed an original modern philosophy of religion incorporating themes from traditional Jewish streams of mysticism and prophetism. His philosophy was one of action as well as ideas; he was an outspoken opponent to the Vietnam War and a strong advocate for equal rights for African Americans, marching with Martin Luther King and playing an active role in the civil rights movement. With biblical scholar John Rybicki as our guide, we will delve into this legendary figure’s unique understanding of man’s relation to God.
Fee: $48/ $36 J member and Temple Rodef
Shalom member*
Code: #8488

Tips about Tip-Ins: The Hidden History of Books
Tuesday, November 28
(snow make-up Tuesday, December 5, 2:30pm-4pm)
Location: The J
Instructor: Stuart Endick, retired attorney and antiquarian book collector
Book collector Stuart Endick returns to ALI to discuss how antiquarian books often contain fascinating clues to their provenance in the form of tipped-in (inserted) letters, inscriptions, book plates, and added material known as extra illustrations. In researching his books' past lives, Stuart has found connections to famous and forgotten authors, eccentric and interesting people, the Titanic, and perhaps even the founding of the United Nations.
Fee: $18/ $12 member
Code: #8628

The How and Why of Personalizing Prayer
Tuesdays, December 5-19 (3 weeks)
(snow make-up Jan. 16)
Location: The J
Instructor: Cantor Allen Leider, Director of Lifelong
Learning, Temple Rodef Shalom
Cantor Leider will facilitate a discussion on the whys and hows of prayer. We’ll explore ways that prayer can create spiritual experiences and strategies for finding deeper meaning when we pray. We’ll discuss aspects of personal prayer as a way of expressing gratitude, finding strength and direction, and becoming more aware in living each moment. We’ll also examine the structure and themes of a Jewish worship service (Hebrew reading skills are not required), and how understanding the organization of the service helps us to have a more meaningful, spiritual and personalized prayer experience.
Fee: $48/ $36 J member
Code: #8489


Cultural Arts Book Fair/ALI Special Event

What Makes a Book Jewish?
Tuesday, December 5
Location: The J
Instructor: Marilyn Cooper, Moment Magazine Culture Editor
Join Moment Magazine Culture Editor Marilyn Cooper for a lively discussion about Jewish books, famous Jewish writers, and the books that shaped them. She will share stories about her interviews with authors such as Carl Bernstein, Cynthia Ozick and Joyce Carol Oates. Questions to be discussed include: what makes a book Jewish; whether a Jewish book has to be written by a Jewish author; and what books most influenced the participants’ Jewish identities. The program will be followed by light refreshments. This program is sponsored jointly by ALI and the Cultural Arts Department.
Fee: $5/ $3 member
Code: #8603


Language Classes

Instructor: Dr. Michael Gorman received his BA, MA, and Ph.D. from American University and continued his studies at the National University of Mexico.
He is a professor at Northern Virginia Community College and previously taught at George Mason University.

Spanish II
This continuing class is for those who have taken the Spanish I class at the J or have some knowledge of the language. You will continue to develop your skills and also review previous material. There are no tests, homework, or grades. Textbook is optional.

Session II
Wednesdays, November 8–December 13
(6 weeks)
Location: The J
Fee: $110/ $85 member
Code: #8612

Level II Yiddish
Instructor: Norman Buder
Join this class if you have some 
knowledge of Yiddish and would like to continue to learn to speak and read the language.

Session II
Mondays, November 20–January 22
(no class Dec. 25, Jan. 1)
(8 weeks)
Location: The J
Fee: $80/ $70 member
Code: #8629


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8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703.323.0880 • Fax: 703.323.1993

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